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Archive for April, 2007

It been just a short time I started blogging & I have got a sort of addiction to it. Daily thinking of new recipes, new thoughts…Just love doing those!! 

Well folks, for few weeks I’ll be away as I’m planning for a vacation to my homeland!! Recently I read from Archana’s blog about drafting recipes, I too plan for the same, but cannot guarantee how often can I. I will certainly be trying to do so.  

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Picture courtesy answers.com

You know I’m going to be rich soon, as Vishu is approaching…Vishu is an important festival for all the Malayalees which is regarded as New year. Of all the festivals I like Vishu as I used to get lots of Vishukaineettam ( money given in form of coins by elderly people which symbolizes prosperity).   It is also believed that the first objects which one sees on the morning of this auspicious day determine the prosperity experienced in the coming year. Hence, all of them make it a point to see all the auspicious things as soon as they wake up. This is called Vishukkani .

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Pic courtesy keralatourism.org

When we were young we used to make these arrangements the previous day & next day early morning our mom used to come & wake us…keeping our eyes closed slowly we approach the place where it is arranged and see the kani !! After that keep on asking for kaineettams! At the end of the day we start counting the amount we got & feel envious on who got more J Another important thing is the feast which is one of the best part of the day!!Vendakka kichadi is one of the Thodukari’s in this feastwhich is served for every vishu at my place.  So thought of sharing 🙂  My loving wishes for all of you….Happy Vishu!! For the kichadi

  • Okra – 20 to 25 thinly sliced
  • Curd 1 ½ cup
  • Curry leaves
  • Salt
  • Oil for frying 

To grind

  • Grated coconut 1 cup
  • Green chilies 3 to 4
  • Mustard seeds 1 tsp 

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Fry the okra slices till it is brown & crisp. If in large quantity fry them in batches. Grind coconut & said ingredients to fine paste. Cook the paste with little water [say quarter cup of water]. Once it is cooked add curry leaves & salt. Add Okra & mix; switch off the gas & add curd, stir at once. The curd should be sour enough…

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Chapati/Roti

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Making rotis is indeed an art, but certain ideas could make it better!!I had lost hope of making them initially as it never used to be soft & palatable.If kept for more hours it turned to be like Frisbee & could even chop off one’s head if thrown with more velocity.

Changing brands, adding milk, curd, other softeners, kneading with efforts, etc did not find any solution to my problem. Finally I came upon the whereabouts of making them. I cannot say as a masterpiece, but certainly it remains soft & moreover looks like chapati or so called roti!! 

Ingredients 

All you need is wheat flour, water to knead, oil & salt. To impart good softness, the kneading skill is very much important. What I do is, take 3 cups of whole wheat flour [100% wheat, no Maida added. I found Swad as a good brand] 2 tsp of any cooking oil, salt to taste and 1 to 1.5 cups of water [approximately, cannot say a specified quantity for kneading]. 

Kneading

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Add all the ingredients together and mix properly. Keep kneading till it becomes like a smooth even surfaced ball. After kneading make the dough rest peacefully for 15 to 20 minutes. This is to make the gluten relaxed. Also keep the container packed where it is resting to avoid drying the surface. A wet cloth or kitchen napkin will also do. 

Rolling 

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 Make equal sized small balls or pedas out of this dough. Dust with flour. Here I take flour in a circular bowl & press the pedas along the base of the bowl towards the rim on both sides, So that the flour is evenly distributed & no need of extra dusting. Start rolling the pedas into chapati in round shape turning them clockwise & further rolling in between.  

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Toast them in griddle or a tawa. Set the temperature to medium flame [temperature also plays important role; if kept on high it becomes more hard & if on slow, uneven distribution of heat may not cause it to blow up]. You could see small bubbles blowing up on one side. Press & turn side. The roti completely blows up after turning them. Check the video to see how it blows up

 Once completely blown take them from the tawa into a plate & if required, smear a tsp of oil or ghee on top of it.

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Every time when either of meat or poultry is bought, it is prepared in excess. I am happy to see the leftovers as it taste better on next day!! This time I thought I will make in variety. I made mutton chaarr the previous day & mutton stew the next day morning. I cooked with some salt in a pressure pan & reserved and then finally boost up with added spice to it.

Good to go with easter menu ” HAPPY EASTER”!!!!

Both the curries go well with either rotis or any of the breakfast items of Kerala origin. My mouth is still watering even while writing! I always take resolution to get rid of fleshy stuffs ; but  to be frank cant help it,,,it makes me irresistible!!!!

Mutton – 1 lb each for both the recipes

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Mutton chaarr 

  • Onions sliced 2
  • Green chilies 4 silted
  • Curry leaves few
  • Mustard seeds few
  • Salt
  • Oil 

To grind 

  • Whole cinnamon bark 2 to 3
  • Whole big cardamom 2 to 3
  • Peppercorns 1 tsp
  • Fennel seeds 1/2 tsp
  • Ginger paste 1 ½ tsp
  • Garlic paste 1 ½ tsp
  • Red chilly powder 1 ½ tsp
  • Coriander powder 2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder ½ tsp 

Make paste of all the ingredients mentioned above to grind.  Splutter mustard seeds in pan. Sauté onions, green chilies & curry leaves till they become translucent. Add the paste and keep stirring till oil separates out. Add the previously cooked mutton, 1 cup of water & salt if required simmer it for 15 to 20 minutes.  Serve hot with chapathis. 

Mutton stew 

  • Onions sliced 1 big
  • Ginger paste 2 tsp
  • Green chilies 8to 10 silted
  • Curry leaves few
  • Powder of fennel seeds & coriander seeds 1 tsp each [powder the whole seeds taking in equal proportion]
  • Whole masalas [big cardamom & cinnamon bark (2 to 3each) & whole peppercorns ½ tsp
  • Boiled potato cut in chunks 1
  • Coconut milk 1 ½ cup [if using coconut milk powder, then 3 Tbsp in 1 ½ cup water]
  • Salt
  • Oil

Mutton stew

Add whole masalas to splutter in oil. Sauté onions, green chilies & curry leaves. Add ginger paste when onions become transparent. Stir at once & add all the spice powders; continue stirring. Add boiled potato chunks, cooked mutton, salt & mix well. Add half a cup of water & simmer it for 15 to 20 minutes. Add coconut milk, blend well & switch off the gas. Serve hot with apams or idiappam.

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I was so much happy to see this time’s JFI element in RP’s workshop to be tomatoes as it is an essential vegetable in my kitchen. I love its juicy texture which gives richness to the gravy. I don’t know anyone who hates them!!

Tomato pickle is always one of my choice of pickles, but for this theme are these beautiful small, long, grape-like clusters of brilliant red elongated grape tomatoes which are sweet, complex & rich in flavor.

  • Grape tomatoes – ½ lb [washed & thoroughly dried]
  • Garlic chopped finely 1 tsp
  • Red chilly powder 2tsp
  • Paprika 1tsp
  • Crushed mustard seeds ½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder ½ tsp
  • Kalongi [onion seeds] 1/2 tsp
  • Fenugreek powder ¼ tsp
  • Salt
  • Sesame oil ¼ cup 

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Mix all spices together with little of oil. Heat oil to smoking point & allow cooling. Till the oil is just warm, add the chopped garlic, spice mixture & then the tomatoes keeping gas on slow flame.  Keep stirring for not more than 3 minutes & add salt.

This I had made in very small quantity & is hardly left, but if making in large amount, the tomatoes should be dried properly as it is very much juicy & can get spoilt. Drying can be done either sun drying for a day or 2 or oven drying at 170 F for 1 hr. This is for extended shelf life.  

Khatta Bhindi with pickled tomatoes.

 This is one of my favorite dishes which go well with rotis. khatta-bhindi-2.jpg

  • Bhindi / okra 1 lb [cut into 2 or 3]
  • Pickled tomatoes ½ cup
  • Onion sliced -1
  • Red chilly powder ½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder ¼ tsp
  • Coriander powder ½ tsp
  • Salt
  • Oil  

Shallow fry the okras & reserve. Sauté onions till transparent & add the pickled tomatoes. Add the spices & salt and stir till mixed well. Add fried okra to it & cook in low flame for 3 to 5 minutes.

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